Thomas Robinson

And-Ones: Irving, Lakers, Robinson, Morris

Kyrie Irving remains as much of a target for the Lakers as Kawhi Leonard is, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Earlier today, Los Angeles was able to amend the Anthony Davis trade agreement, giving them the ability to carve out roughly $32MM in cap room.

Irving seems likely to join Brooklyn, but that won’t stop the Lakers from making an attempt to lure the point guard to the team. Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • Former No. 5 overall pick Thomas Robinson will play in the summer league for the Spurs, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Robinson most recently played in the G League for the Red Claws, the affiliate of the Celtics.
  • Markieff Morris is unlikely to re-sign with the Thunder, Maddie Lee of the Oklahoman writes. The scribe details how many players who sign during buyout season end up switching teams come the offseason.
  • Damyean Dotson believes the Knicks will be fine even if they don’t land a big star in free agency this summer, as Marc Berman of the New York Post passes along. “We have a full team of young guys,” Dotson said. “My teammates Allonzo [Trier], Kev [Kevin Knox] Mitchell [Robinson], [R.J. Barrett], we’re rising stars. We can build together and one day become a great team if we work hard keep listening to coach [David Fizdale]. All the guys played last year got experience.”

 

Greg Monroe Signs 10-Day Deal With Celtics

March 24: The Celtics have officially signed Monroe to his 10-day deal, the team announced on social media. There was some uncertainty over whether Monroe would ultimately be signed, but the team went forward with the agreement on Sunday.

March 22: Veteran center Greg Monroe has agreed to a 10-day contract with the Celtics, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Boston has an open roster spot, so the team won’t have to clear a space for the new addition.

Monroe provides some depth in the middle with the team’s top two big men, Al Horford and Aron Baynes, nursing injuries. Horford is dealing with left knee soreness, while Baynes is battling an ankle sprain. Neither will play against Charlotte on Saturday.

Appearing in 38 games with the Raptors this season, including two starts, Monroe averaged 4.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 11.1 MPG. Toronto traded him to the Nets just before the February deadline and Brooklyn immediately waived him. He has been shopping for another opportunity since that point.

Monroe, 28, will be entering his second stint in a Boston uniform. He played 26 regular-season and 11 postseason games with the Celtics last year.

The Celtics could eventually sign former NBA forward Thomas Robinson as their 15th man, but they want him to play out the G League season with their affiliate, Keith Smith of RealGM tweets. Robinson was claimed by the Maine Red Claws team last week. Boston also had an imminent need at center, which made Monroe a logical choice.

Celtics Notes: Williams, Irving, Stevens, Hunter

The Celtics are dealing with another injured center after rookie Robert Williams took a hard fall onto his back in last night’s game, writes Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. Making his first career start because of injuries to Al Horford and Aron Baynes, Williams left the game with a back contusion in the second quarter.

“I’m guessing we’re looking at a Jaylen (Brown) time frame from this year, at least,” coach Brad Stevens said. Brown suffered a similar injury last March and missed six games. Boston has nine games left, so it’s possible that Williams won’t return until the playoffs. Jayson Tatum also fell on his back last night, but his injury appears to be less severe.

Losing Williams could affect the Celtics’ plans for their open roster spot. There was a report Friday night that they would be signing Greg Monroe to a 10-day contract, but when that didn’t happen yesterday, there were suggestions that the opening might go to Thomas Robinson, who joined the organization’s G League affiliate last week. If Williams is out for the rest of the season, that might tip the scales back in favor of Monroe.

There’s more this morning out of Boston:

  • Kyrie Irving appeared to take another swipe at his young teammates, saying the Celtics need to be “more mature down the stretch” after blowing an 18-point fourth quarter lead in a loss to the Hornets, relays A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Irving, who has been outspoken about the difficulties of being a veteran leader on a young team, also questioned Stevens’ approach to handling Kemba Walker, who scored 18 fourth quarter points to lead the comeback. “We should have probably trapped him more like every other team does in the league but we didn’t,” Irving said. “He torches us every time we play them, so it’s no surprise.”
  • Before Saturday’s meltdown, Stevens indicated rotation changes could be coming, Blakely adds in a separate story. He told his players that “toughness” will determine who plays in the postseason. “We are in evaluation stage on who’s reliable,” Stevens said. “… If you don’t have that reliability; if you don’t have that toughness. If you don’t have the ability to move on to what’s next, you don’t last very long.”
  • R.J. Hunter hasn’t taken the court for Boston since signing a two-way contract in January, but he believes he’s a mentally stronger player than when he was drafted by the team in 2015. He talks about that aspect of the game an interview tweeted by the Celtics.

Celtics May Not Sign Greg Monroe

Despite a report that surfaced last night, the Celtics may be having second thoughts about signing veteran center Greg Monroe to a 10-day contract, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports.

Aron Baynes‘ ankle injury may not be as serious as originally believed, which would reduce the need to add another center. Coach Brad Stevens said Baynes, who was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain on Wednesday, may be available for tomorrow’s game with San Antonio (Twitter link from A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston).

Thomas Robinson, who joined the Celtics’ G League affiliate in Maine this week, is also being considered for the open roster spot, Smith adds (Twitter link). Robinson has averaged 14 PPG and 14 RPG in his first three games for the Red Claws, who will end their season tonight. Smith describes the competition to fill the 15th spot in Boston as “fluid” and says some believe Robinson has the inside track.

The fifth player selected in the 2012 draft, Robinson spent the season in China before coming to the G League. The 28-year-old joined the Hawks for training camp last fall, but hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2016/17 season.

Celtics Notes: Rozier, Thomas, Horford, T. Robinson

Celtics guard Terry Rozier has formed a strong bond with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge even though he has been on the trading block this year, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Rozier shined while Kyrie Irving was sidelined with an injury during last year’s playoffs, but has struggled to fit into a backup role this season. With restricted free agency looming this summer, Rozier seemed like a natural candidate for a deal.

“I know he had some thoughts about trading me this year,” Rozier said. “I respected the business side of it. I don’t ever try to get too much in other people’s jobs. I try to do my job, which is on the court. Like I said, I know he had thoughts, but it didn’t happen.”

Ainge has been a believer in Rozier since drafting him with the 16th pick in 2015 when he was projected as a late first-rounder at best. He resisted trading Rozier because of his potential value in the playoffs, but there’s still no guarantee that the fourth-year guard will remain in Boston beyond this season.

There’s more Celtics news to pass along:

  • Isaiah Thomas can expect a warm reception when he returns to Boston tomorrow night, both from fans and former teammates, relays Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports. Thomas, who has fallen out of the Nuggets’ rotation, may finally get a tribute video. He was injured in his only other trip to the city since being traded and requested that the Celtics not produce a video then. “One of the reasons I came here (to Boston) was to play with him, and one of the things I always admire about Isaiah is his heart,” Al Horford said. “Just leaving it all out there. It didn’t matter if he was hurt or there was something wrong. He’s a guy that loves to compete, that plays hard, that plays to win, and it was just a lot of fun to play with him.”
  • An injury scare for Horford during yesterday’s win over the Hawks showed why the Celtics want to give him some rest before the playoffs, notes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Horford left the game after banging knees with an Atlanta player in the third quarter. He was able to return, but Boston plans to give him three or four games off to ensure his health for the postseason.
  • The Celtics’ G League affiliate in Maine has officially added former NBA forward Thomas Robinson, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, who suggests that Robinson might be considered for Boston’s open roster spot. The Red Claws play four more games before their season ends Saturday.

And-Ones: G League, T. Robinson, Hawes, Ajinca

More G League players than ever are either leaving their teams for personal reasons or being “removed from a team,” writes Adam Johnson of 2 Ways and 10 Days. Terrence Jones, who recently completed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Rockets, is the latest example, as Johnson tweets that he has been removed from the active roster of the Erie BayHawks.

Jeff Ledbetter, Lavoy Allen, Jarnell Stokes, Raphiael Putney, Quincy Acy, DeAndre Liggins and Chris McCullough have also left their G League teams this season for various reasons. Some ultimately returned, but Johnson sees the pattern as an issue for the league. He notes the stress involved in being so close to the big leagues can make players react poorly if they have a bad game in front of NBA scouts.

Johnson urges new G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim to expand the availability of mental health services available to players and encourage more discussion on the topic, just like the NBA did after revelations from Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan.

There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:

  • Former NBA forward Thomas Robinson, who signed a G League contract this week, has been claimed on waivers by the Celtics‘ affiliate in Maine, Johnson tweets. The league mistakenly awarded Robinson to the Red Claws a day early, as players must spend at least 48 hours on waivers unless they are claimed by the team with the top waiver spot. Robinson prefers to go to Maine, and Johnson states that still appears to be his destination (Twitter link). The fifth player selected in the 2012 draft, Robinson played for six NBA teams in five seasons.
  • Spencer Hawes has been impressive in the G League and is “on the radar” for an NBA call-up, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Playing for the Lakers‘ affiliate, Hawes had a 29-point game last night and is shooting 59% from 3-point range.
  • A few unlikely teams appear to have done very well at the trade deadline, according to Matt John of Basketball Insiders. Many observers thought the Clippers were giving up on this season when they traded away leading scorer Tobias Harris, but they got a nice collection of young talent and future assets in return and acquired Ivica Zubac from the Lakers in a separate deal. The Clippers have solidified a playoff spot at 40-30 and appear in stronger position to make an offseason run at Kawhi Leonard. The Pistons only made minor moves, John adds, but trading away Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock created more playing time for Luke Kennard and Wayne Ellington, who have helped Detroit to a 10-4 record since the deadline. The Grizzlies have been playing better since unloading Marc GasolJaMychal Green and Garrett Temple. Avery Bradley and Jonas Valanciunas have been standouts in Memphis and have increased the chances that the Grizzlies will convey their first-round pick to the Celtics this year rather than having to worry about it in the future.
  • Italian club Grison Bon Reggio Emilia has expressed interest in former NBA center Alexis Ajinca, who left his French team last week, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Thomas Robinson Signs G League Contract

Former lottery pick Thomas Robinson has signed an NBA G League contract as he looks for a path back to the NBA, reports Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days (via Twitter). According to Johnson, the veteran power forward is eligible to be claimed off waivers by an NBAGL team.

Robinson, who was selected fifth overall in the 2012 draft, never developed into a reliable rotation player in the NBA. Over the course of five seasons, he appeared in a total of 313 regular season games, averaging 4.9 PPG and 4.8 RPG for the Kings, Rockets, Trail Blazers, Sixers, Nets, and Lakers. Although he was in camp with the Hawks last fall, he hasn’t seen regular season action since the 2016/17 season, when he played 48 games for the Lakers.

Having continued his career in Russia and China over the last two seasons, Robinson is hoping to catch on with an NBA team in advance of the playoffs. In fact, Johnson tweets that the 27-year-old is specifically hoping to land with the Maine Red Claws in the G League, since he’d like to earn the open spot on the Celtics‘ 15-man roster for the postseason. The Red Claws are Boston’s NBAGL affiliate.

Claiming a roster spot on a playoff team may be a long shot for Robinson, but he’d be postseason-eligible if he signs anytime before the end of the regular season, since he hasn’t been on an NBA roster yet this season.

International Notes: Mayo, Robinson, Early, Meeks

O.J. Mayo is in Taiwan for the next step of his basketball career, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 31-year-old signed with the Dacin Tigers and has already played a few games, Carchia adds.

Mayo recently became eligible for reinstatement into the NBA after serving a two-year ban for a second violation of the league’s Anti-Drug Program. He was hoping for an invitation to training camp, but no team made an offer. Mayo last played in Puerto Rico over the summer.

Mayo spent eight NBA seasons with the Grizzlies, Mavericks and Bucks, but hasn’t been in the league since fracturing his right ankle in March of 2016.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • China may be the next stop for former lottery pick Thomas Robinson, according to Carchia. The Beikong Fly Dragons are negotiating with Robinson, who spent last season with Khimki Moscow Region in Russia. The fifth pick in the 2012 draft, Robinson played 313 games for the Kings, Rockets, Trail Blazers, Sixers, Nets and Lakers. He was in training camp this year with the Hawks, but was waived last month before the start of the season.
  • Cleanthony Early, who spent two seasons with the Knicks, has joined the Tokyo Hachioji Trains of the Japanese second division, relays Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The team officially announced the signing of Early, who averaged 4.3 PPG in 56 games with New York in 2014/15 and 2015/16.
  • Kennedy Meeks, who was in training camp with the Raptors last season and played for the organization’s G League affiliate, is also playing in Japan, Lupo adds in a separate story. The former North Carolina center is with SeaHorses Mikawa in the first division.

Hawks Cut Thomas Robinson, R.J. Hunter, C.J. Anderson

The Hawks have trimmed their preseason roster by three, waiving Thomas Robinson, R.J. Hunter, and C.J. Anderson, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Atlanta’s roster is now at the regular season limit of 17 players, including two on two-way contracts.

Robinson, the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft, has appeared in 313 career regular season games, but didn’t play in the NBA last season and was always a long shot to make the Hawks’ regular season roster, since the team is already carrying 15 players on guaranteed contracts. Hunter is also a former first-round pick who has struggled to find an NBA home.

Anderson, meanwhile, went undrafted out of the University of Massachusetts after averaging 10.6 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 5.0 RPG with a .414/.400/.813 shooting line as a senior in 2017/18. If he clears waivers, the Hawks would hold his G League rights as an affiliate player, so he may end up with the Erie BayHawks.

Hawks Sign Thomas Robinson

AUGUST 30: The Hawks have officially signed Robinson, the team announced today in a press release.

AUGUST 27: The Hawks have reached an agreement to sign former lottery pick Thomas Robinson, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, Robinson will receive a non-guaranteed deal.

The fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Robinson didn’t even spend a full season with the Kings before being traded to Houston, then didn’t last long with the Rockets either. Over the course of five NBA seasons, Robinson also spent time with the Trail Blazers, Sixers, Nets, and Lakers. He appeared in 313 overall regular season contests, but never more than 102 for a single club.

Viewed as a strong rebounder and inside scorer coming out of Kansas, Robinson has been unable to carve out a consistent role in the NBA, averaging 4.9 PPG and 4.8 RPG during his career. Having headed overseas in 2017/18, the 27-year-old had a solid season for Russian club Khimki, averaging 8.2 PPG and a team-high 5.8 RPG in 20 EuroLeague games.

Now that he has returned stateside, Robinson will be looking to earn a roster spot on an NBA team, but even on the lottery-bound Hawks, there’s no clear path to a role.

Having recently signed Vince Carter and Daniel Hamilton to guaranteed contracts, the Hawks are carrying 15 players with guaranteed salaries for 2018/19. In order for Robinson to crack the regular season roster, Atlanta would have to trade or release one of those 15 players.